There is a growing outcry in Tuscaloosa, Ala. after a police officer fatally shot a man wielding a “large metal spoon in a threatening manner.” Jeffory Ray Tevis, 50, was killed after a confrontation with the officer on his balcony. Police say that he may have been “suffering from a mental episode” . . . and then he grabbed a spoon.
Police were responded to a report of an assault on the premises and found Tevis with blood on his face and legs. He said that he had been attacking while another man accused him of threatening him. Police say that he became aggressive and an officer used a stun gun but Tevis then charged the officer with a spoon. Police said it was 10-12 inches long. The officer shoot him twice in self-defense.
The officer reported minor injuries.
As daunting as a large spoon maybe, the incident rises the question that we discussed earlier about sharp difference in the use of lethal force in the United States as opposed to other countries. In fairness, we have not heard the officer’s account and it may be possible at the location on the balcony or other factors proved mitigating. However, the object itself raises fair questions about the use of lethal force.
76 thoughts on “Alabama Officer Shoots And Kills Man Wielding A Large Spoon”
I AM THE WIFE OF JEFFORY RAY TEVIS WHO GOT KILLED AUGUST 20TH, 2015 IN TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA. I WAS NOT THERE WHEN IT HAPPENED BUT I AM ANGRY WITH THE POLICE OFFICER THAT KILLED HIM. I PERSONALLY DONT HAVE CLOSURE AND HAVE SOME UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT IT. SUCH AS WHEN THE POLICE OFFICER CAME ON THE SCENE WHY DIDNT THE AMBULANCE ARRIVE THERE ON THE SCENCE TO ? WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG FOR THEM TO GET THERE WHAT WAS THE HOLD UP? WHY DIDNT THE OFFICER JUST INJURE HIM IN THE FOOT OR LEG INSTEAD OF KILLING HIM? HAVING LATER FOUND OUT THE OTHER THING IS THAT THE DOCTOR AT THE VA HOSPITAL GAVE HIM THE WRONG MEDICATION FOR HIS DIAGNOSIS THAT WHEN HE TOOK THE MEDICATION IT CAUSED HIM TO GO OFF . SO, YOU HAVE A LICENSED DOCTOR WHO DOESNT KNOW HOW TO TREAT THE VICTIM WHO ASKED FOR HELP ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS DURING DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS. IN MY PERSONAL OPINION THE POLICE OFFICER SHOULD HAVE LOST HIS JOB AND THE PYCHOLOGIST SHOULD HAVE LOST HIS JOB? AND WHEN IT WENT BEFORE A GRAND JURY THE WITTNESSES IN THE CASE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AFRAID TO SHOW UP IN COURT TO TESTIFY AGAINST THE POLICE OFFICER THAT DID IT. YOU KNOW AT THE END OF THE DAY THE ONE THAT SUFFERS THE MOST IS NOT THE OFFICER WITH THE MINOR INJURIES ITS HIS FAMILY HIS WIFE AND STEPCHILDREN OF A LIFE THATS GONE THAT COULD BE STILL HERE IFTHE PROFFESSIONAL PEOPLE WHO INVOLVED DID A BETTER JOB IN TRAINING KNOWING THERE JOB.
Sandi Hemming … yes, I also noted the execution of two officers sitting their vehicle…there’s been one or two incidents similar to that here (Detroit) in the past, not recently…one was less than a half mile from my house in a White Castle parking lot where one officer was ambushed and shot dead in the head. I’m uncertain how to address such incidents except for the officers to never relax and keep a eye on all avenues of approach, front, side and to the rear. Heck, I still do that, even today, out of habit. Even driving my truck I never pull up to the bumper of a car in front of me at a light and usually try to have a side escape route, even a side walk.
For me, an old guy now (Jurassic period 🙂 ), the issue is loss of respect for the uniform & badge. Even as a kid I was taught to respect the uniform, not necessarily the personality wearing it. Same applies to the custom of saluting in the military, you salute the badge of rank and the uniform, whether you “like” the man or woman wearing it or not. At times even now, long out of uniform, I find myself considering a salute….and recently I did just that to a retired Colonel who is starting up a well supported “charter” junior ROTC school in buildings Judi manages…thus we met and I saw a real “leader” who had honest concern for youth…. he deserved the salute even if not required and a little odd from a civilian to a man in uniform. Amazing how by showing a modicum of customary respect you avoid suspicion and hostility. Yesterday I ate lunch in the only true “deli” around here (even if my preference is for the hardly Kosher “Dinty Moore” sandwich) and when two officers came in to eat I acknowledged their presence in a friendly way. That “deli” is a friendly place where every stranger seems to “know” everyone else and never know each others’ names. When I got up to leave about 10 minutes later both officers looked up from their lunch and wished me a good day. A small spot of harmony. It can be contagious, and citizens can influence the various government attitudes at the polls as well…if only they would. A smile and extended hand when appropriate can solve a lot of suspicion, and it the smile is met by a scowl…I simply assume the guy or girl just had a bad day and go about my business with some sympathy for whatever caused the scowl. I’ve had those days too.
Sandi Hemming … based upon my experience in DOD I’d say your “bet” is on the money.
Aridog, I recently tweeted about requiring two officers in every police car. But two officers were killed in a police car in NYC (how they miss Rudy), execution style. Did you see the officer called to a home trying to get a black teenage girl under control? Behind him two boys were flipping their towels at him. They could have been killed. You don’t do something stupid behind an officer. There have been so many police stories I’m convinced it’s a money problem. Budgets keep getting cut and we’re seeing the results. But I bet the supporting “staff” haven’t been affected.
After the shooting of the Texas police officer, how long before all police departments mandate two officers per car? One to watch seems sensible to me. Most of the officer shootings of late have been single officers making a stop or doing whatever alone.
The man’s name has not been released yet, and the investigation is ongoing. Investigators from major crimes, internal affairs and crime scene units were called to the scene.
Annie … I’ve thought about your question and decided that in the case on point, the murders of two reporters, that there was little individual situational awareness could have done to save them. It may be that media outlets who send reporters in the field will now need to also send at least two monitors to protect access pathways [peripheral vision is roughly 180+ degrees, thus two minimum are required to cover everything]…there is just no way the reporters can do this alone while concentrating on their story. In this sense, Hillary’s rope line makes some sense…she at least had people watching her back, however crudely.
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